Instagram continues to explore new ways to help people and businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Today, Instagram has launched a new fundraising option within Instagram Live, which will enable users to raise funds during a Instagram Live stream - like a small-scale telethon via the app.
As explained by Instagram:
"Many people are facing challenges at this time, and we want to do our part to support nonprofits and communities who need it the most. Now, you can easily create a fundraiser on Live with 100% of the money raised going directly to the nonprofit of your choice."
As you can see in the above screenshots, to create your own Instagram Live fundraiser, you'll select the 'Fundraiser' option on the left of screen when you go to start your Instagram Live broadcast. When you tap through, you'll then be able to choose a nonprofit to support.
During your stream, you'll be able to see how many people have pledged support to your chosen cause, along with a real-time listing of the total money raised. You'll also be able to tap 'View' to see a full breakdown of your donors, and you'll be able to thank them by tapping 'Wave' next to their name.
In addition to this, Instagram's also looking to boost awareness for Live fundraisers via a new 'I Donated' sticker that people can add to their Stories.
"When you donate to a nonprofit fundraiser on Live or in Stories, you can access the sticker for a select period of time. Accounts you follow who use the “I Donated” sticker or donation sticker will be added to a shared story at the front of your Stories bar for a limited time, allowing you to see how your community is helping support those affected by COVID-19."
So it has the dual benefit of promoting the initiative via your own Story, and appearing in its own, separate 'Donate' Story, highlighted at the top of the feed.
As noted, it's the latest in Instagram's ongoing efforts to provide new tools and functions to help organizations and businesses working to deal with the impacts of COVID-19.
Instagram recently added new gift card, food order, and fundraiser tools for Stories and profiles to help SMBs during the lockdowns, while it's also launched a range of cause-based stickers for Stories in order to help raise awareness of various initiatives.
In relation to charitable live-streams specifically, Instagram also recently made its live-streams available via the web, expanding the potential viewership of these broadcasts, while the platform's additionally looking to extend its live-stream fundraising options to also include donations for small businesses and creators at some stage.
Earlier this month, Facebook added a new option to its fundraising options in order to enable business owners to create personal fundraisers to call on their customers for support, and that option could soon also extend to Instagram Live donations also.
The initiatives provide a range of new options and considerations, for charitable organizations specifically, but also for regular users and brands that may want to use their Instagram presence to assist those in need.
And eventually, those options will likely provide new capacity for more businesses and artists to replace lose revenue through Instagram Live streams.
Viewership of live-streams is at an all-time high, making it a great time to tap into such options to maximize reach, and boost awareness. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently noted that more than 800 million are currently engaging with live video across Facebook's apps every day, while live-streams also attract the most viewers and engagement of all its video options.
And while charitable organizations are the focus right now, the process could also be hugely beneficial for musicians who've lost out on gigs, local businesses looking to keep going, artists, etc.
The option could provide a major boost to a range of sectors - we'll keep you updated on any updates.